iBasket: laundry basket of the future also washes

Guopeng Liang's finalist entry in Electrolux's Design Lab 2008 is another example of simple ingenuity. There's no radical new washing technology implied, nor some fancy eco-friendly water-saving technique. All it does is wait until it contains a certain weight of clothing, then do a basic (presumably cold) wash. In the meantime, it sucks air through the clothes, ensuring they don't spread any unpleasant odors as the pile builds. From the designer:
...today, people store their clothes in a laundry hamper until it fills up, then carry the basket to the laundry room, wash them, come back, take them out, throw them back into the hamper, carry them to a clothesline and then hang them out. I believe that iBasket offers a much more convenient alternative.
It also instant-messages you to tell you what it's up to. For civilized people, it might seem a purposeless appliance. But for those with neither hamper nor washing machine – think disgusting college students – why not? Finalists of Electrolux DesignLab 2008 [Designophy]

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11 Responses to iBasket: laundry basket of the future also washes

  1. zuzu says:

    It also instant-messages you to tell you what it’s up to.

    I’d pay good money for a real washer / drier set that was networked (i.e. standard ethernet) to do this: running embedded Linux (like most BusyBox-based routers or NAS devices), connects by default with DHCP, and uses ZeroConf / Bonjour / Rendezvous to announce itself as Jabber IM (ala Bonjour iChat), so that its away message is its current status, and it IMs everyone on the LAN when it’s done and requires human intervention to move the laundry to its next stage. I’m amazed that the fancy-pants brands such as Bosch and Miele haven’t implemented this yet. (They all currently display this message on an LCD readout on the washer/dryer, and make a horrible piezo buzzer sound when done… if you’re in proximity to hear it, or conversely can stand to ignore its incessancy.)

  2. semiotix says:

    Sure, it instant-messages me to talk about work. But what if I just want to chat?

  3. Bugs says:

    That is a pretty cool idea, but I can’t see it working well.

    Presumably it’d need to be plumbed in and, if it has any sort of agitation and spin cycle, would get just as noisy as any modern washing machine. This makes it no good for a bedroom, meaning that you’d need to store it elsewhere. Possibly in a room at the edge of the house that’s plumbed in… kitchen or utility room?

    Now, where could I put the clothes from tonight that I can’t be bothered to take downstairs right now? Oh yes, I have an old hamper I could leave them in for the time being…

    Also: Am I the only one who’s sick to the iBackTeeth of all the designers who think a little “i” means “modern and innovative”? It was a cheap gimmick a few months after the iPods came out; years later I can’t believe people (including the BBC’s iPlayer, FFS!) still think copying Apple’s branding marks their product out as cool and unique. I don’t have a lawn, but if I ever get one those punk designer kids definately won’t be allowed on it. Bah.

  4. SamF says:

    Are we not ready to move on to another letter yet?

    We’ve done the whole e-thing. eMail, eCommerce, eDonkey, etc. At about the same time, the offline world was doing x. x-games, x-men, x-wives…whatever. Now it’s all about the i. Everything, both online and off, has to have an i in front of it.

    I’m done with I. I’m ready for another letter. I nominate p.

    We could have the pPod, the pBasket, the pBrain…whatever. It’ll be fun. C’mon marketing people. iStuff is so 2006. It’s time to make with the p!

  5. LogrusZed says:

    As a single male who mostly wears t-shirts and jeans I’ve discovered that any laundry basket will do this. Just leave your stuff in there for a month and it’s magically clean as soon as your dresser is empty.

  6. Halloween Jack says:

    Also made of fail: an open-topped washer that is placed on a hardwood floor. BBG calls out crapvendors; how about crapdesigners? I like the instant-messaging idea, but otherwise this is so sad… the designer has apparently never heard of a “dryer”. It reminds me of that guy who thought that combining a fire extinguisher with an O2 cylinder was a super-cool idea.

  7. edgore says:

    “Also made of fail: an open-topped washer that is placed on a hardwood floor”

    Not nearly as worrying as the fact taht it seems to be covered in tiny ventilation. No doubt these are great or when it’s sucking air thourhg the clothes – less great when it’s filled with soapy water.

    I suggest that since the market for this is obviously those too lazy to really do laundry that we dispense with the light washing altogether.

    Instead just put a charcoal filter in the base, a febreze mister at the top and let it simply deodorant the the clothes into a barely wearable state over night…

  8. jimkirk says:

    Then there’s the “Two Pair” method. Have two of everything, and always wear the cleaner of the two…

  9. Gilbert Wham says:

    Ummmm, I keep my dirty laundry in the washer. When it is full, I close the door & switch it on…

  10. edgore says:

    After actually bothering to read the source article, I am now much more interested in getting additional information about this entry:

    Sook: the social networking recipe generator with electronic tongue, by Adam Brodowski, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA.

  11. chromal says:

    How much water and energy would it use compared to an energystar frontloader washing machine like an LG Tromm? I’ll bet this is a step backwards in terms of “greenness,” without even getting into the other design issues mentioned.

    Design at the price of functionality makes no sense to me.

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